The attention span of the average human being is getting shorter with every generation, especially in this decade, with the radical change sprouting from digitalization. Today, the average human attention span is just 8 seconds! Without targeted content, there will be little to no engagement generated online.
However, the flip side is that the number of times people check their devices per day has increased significantly. The reason behind this behavior is being related to the sensory experience of communication that helps us to connect with others. Today more than ever, a well-designed content strategy is vital.
Users generally have more than one device from which they consume the content: phones, tablets, desktops, television etc. In recent times, mobile usage has increased rapidly. This does not mean that your desktop traffic is compromised for. Instead, it points to the fact that your audience is consuming content in different places and on different devices depending on the time of day. Being conscious of your audience’s specific browsing habits will allow you to better fit content to their needs. Test separate devices along with different times of day to ensure you are investing the right media spend on the right device and at the right time.
This is the first thing that will help you beat the reader's attention span. Evaluate your content and the reaction it has received by far, note the time spent on your site on each page, consider analyzing your website traffic to check if your content is appealing to your audience and implement keyword analysis to develop new ideas that are relevant for your audience.
As with a good content structure, images make reading a page more appealing. From feature image that offers an introduction to the topic to the additional images included throughout the content/article, images help to separate one section from another in the most engaging way.
They also help the eyes relax from a long sequence of text while making it easier for the brain to process what it just read. Moreover, images can offer additional value with the use of quotes, stats, or even tips that facilitate quick reading. These images can double as shareable content on your readers’ social feed, giving you more mileage from your content.
You might assume that a short attention span will require an equally short piece of content for consumption. This is not always the case, as a well-executed long-form content is still a valuable asset to your platform. The content should always add value to a topic; in such case, length will not discourage readers from consuming the content. Long-form content is not always boring: structure and images can contribute to making the reading experience better.
Content is never limited to text. There is no need to limit your creativity to plain text, especially if you can include other formats like Infographics, Presentation slides, Video, Podcasts, and GIFs. These allow you to promote your content across new platforms and reach the right audience. Many of these content formats are more engaging to audiences with shorter attention span than a text-based post.
It is important for the creative to look good on the device your users are accessing the content on. If your content is not optimized for mobile, consider only targeting campaigns to desktop users because audiences are looking for top-shelf experiences across devices and if you can’t provide it, they may leave and never come back.
Reading content that our friends or our favorite influencers share on their social feeds is an ideal example of social proofing. This is due to the trust that we’ve built up with them, and the belief that their approval serves as the credential we need to visit a page. This can become even more important if it’s about a page that we haven’t visited in the past.
It’s not a bad idea to build relationships with other people to ensure that our site’s content reaches more people. This way the connection becomes more genuine and there are more chances for new readers to actually pay attention to content.